The Various Types of Structural Steel Shapes

Over the past decade, we have watched the construction and engineering industries progress immensely. From different techniques to new methods of creating the amazing buildings that you see on a daily basis, you will be pleased with the variety of structural steel shapes available.

Today we are going to cover the different types of structural steel shapes that exist. Each steel shape has its unique structure in addition to ways that they are utilized.

Custom Shapes
Engineers today have become very creative with how they build and construct steel. While there are a variety of common/basic shapes, for commercial buildings and residential homes, some owners enjoy standing out from the rest.

The tee beam (also referred to as T-beam) is best utilized as a load-bearing beam. It has a T-shaped cross section, which allows for large loads to be carried appropriately.

Channel (C-Shaped) 
Channel beams (also known as C-beams) are created with top and bottom flanges that create a C shape. Over the years C-beams was most known for being used with bridges. However, C-beams are starting to be used for a variety of building applications including, but not limited to marine piers.

Bearing Pile (H-Shaped)
Construction professionals and engineers strive to make sure they are always finding the best possible methods to use. The bearing piles are designed to create a deep foundation system. Builders use these beams for dense soils and projects that require 1,000 tons of weight to be handled at a time.

Angle (L-Shaped)
Angel beams are best utilized in floor systems with building foundations. The reason why these are popular is because their L shape provides great stability for floor systems all while reducing structural depth simultaneously.

I-Beams (also known as H-Beams) are known as universal beams because they have two horizontal elements. The flanges in addition to the vertical elements allow for perfect bending capabilities when necessary.

Basic structural steel pipes are utilized a lot in construction work. Typically pipes are used for gas, oil, and water projects. As these pipes are hollow with cylindrical tubes, they are best for the latter projects than other beams for this specific use.

Hollow Steel Section (HSS)
Hollow Steel Section (also known as HSS) are metal profiles that come in a variety of shapes. HSS beams can be circular, rectangular, square, or elliptical. With the diverse options in shapes, this allows for builders to use HSS beams for projects that require loading in a variety of directions.

If you're looking for structural steel contractors in Michigan, contact the team at Midwest Steel today. From steel fabrication to custom construction design assistance, we can help. 

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